It’s easy to find things to complain about in Malta. Ditto for things to worry about, things to fight about, even things to take to the street and protest over. But finding inspiration isn’t something we dedicate enough time to.
Well, we’re hell bent on shining a light on six young local personalities who have really made waves in their own sector in Malta over the past few years. These guys, each with very different goals, methods and even levels of exposure, are slowly making a huge impact in Malta.
1. Steve Mercieca – Business & Property
Mercieca used to make headlines for his crazy stunts. Today he’s the founder and CEO of Zanzi Homes and Quicklets. He co-founded Quicklets, a property letting company, with his brother Michael and friend Sami Baddar back in 2013, and in 2015 started another venture – Zanzi Homes.
He rapidly disrupted a heavily saturated market, developing his company at break neck speed. Quicklets alone employs over a hundred agents and 2000 virtual agents. And Mercieca has been recognised in his industry for his unique management style. Props to him for building a crazy-successful career, and for creating jobs for hundreds of people.
Breaking the mould just might be the recipe for success.
2. Sara Ezabe – Activism
In 2016 Sara Ezabe was invited to participate in ‘Common Wealth Day’ at Westminster Abbey representing the ‘Queen’s Young Leaders 2016’. She is 20-something year old activist who has worked to promote diversity and social inclusion. She’s also established an organisation called Redefining Us, pioneering her cause to eliminate discrimination in Malta.
Her ability to fight for people’s rights against strong cultural and religious adversity – living as a Muslim woman in a overwhelmingly Catholic country – definitely makes her inspirational in our books.
Being part of a minority-group doesn’t mean you can’t be a spokesperson for the greater community.
3. Sean Buhagiar – Arts & Culture
Buhagiar was selected late last year as the Director for Teatru Malta. He’s barely hit his 30s and his career as a professional artistic director, creative producer and theatre-maker has been packed with highlights; including his extensive work on films and stage, and perhaps most notably for his artistic direction of Notte Bianca – Malta’s biggest arts festival.
He is known for his decisive career-moves including his resignation his post as Deputy Artistic Director for Valletta 2018 following a falling out with Artistic Director Mario Philip Azzopardi. More recently, he spoke out against the general elections taking place in 2018 in Malta, lamenting an opportunity for the country to focus solely on culture during Valletta 2018. He sticks to his guns, and for that – we salute him.
Leading with conviction is refreshing.
4. Julian Bajada – Sports
Bajada represented Malta at the prestigious Para-Olympic Swimming World Championships in 2015. He is also a law student at the University of Malta, a trainee at a prestigious Maltese law firm, and an avid advocate for healthy living and the importance of sports in daily life.
He was born with a rare condition which affected both his arms and legs, leaving him with physical disabilities. Bajada formed part of the National Maltese Para-Swimming Team for two seasons, running from 2014 to 2016. He’s also completed the Gozo-to-Malta challenge, the Summer Triathlon League, and competed at the National Championships. Aside from the Para-Olympic championships, he represented Malta at an international swim-meet in Istanbul in 2015. Bajada spoke about his journey to becoming a sportsman at a TEDx event in Malta last year. His drive and goal-oriented attitude is truly something to aspire to.
Turn an obstacle into a challenge is always inspirational.
5. Yasmin De Giorgio – Health & Lifestyle
De Giorgio is the founder of The Grassy Hopper, Sanya and Theobroma Cacao Collective. The Grassy Hopper, which was founded in 2013, was one of the first catering establishments in Malta to focus solely on healthy dishes, and was largely responsible for a community-wide shift in perception in terms of healthy eating and lifestyle in Malta.
Aside from being a gifted entrepreneur, she has made a name for herself for pioneering conscious business and leadership in Malta. De Giorgio is a co-founder of the Conscious Business Network (Sync Hub), and a spokesperson for sustainable business. She’s changed our food landscape dramatically, and so she’s pretty much a champion in our books.
Believe in your idea and work for it, and other people will believe in it too.
6. Desiree Attard – Politics
Attard is the Deputy Mayor for Marsaskala, and a Legal Advisor at Ministry for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties. She made waves back in 2015 for opposing her party in a stand against the proposed development of a university in the Żonqor area in Marsaskala. Attard stood her ground stating that her standpoint had nothing to do with partisan politics, and that she was merely following her own belief system.
In 2016, Attard also voted in favour of a proposal made by a Nationalist councillor for the government to take over the Jerma Hotel site in Marsaskala and turn it into a public space. The motion was denied, but Attard’s steadfast conviction to fight for what she believes in is, on the other hand, undeniable.
It’s okay to disagree with your people if you believe it’s the right thing.